and blogs are the Official Website for the books:  Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier Life and 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease.

Dr. Okun is the co-founder of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration, the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation, as well as the author of several books including Ask the Expert about Parkinson's Disease, Lessons from the Bedside, 10 Breakthrough Therapies for Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's Treatment: 10 Secrets to a Happier life due out in 2013.  His secrets book was translated into 20 languages so that it can be made available to Parkinson's disease sufferers around the world.  Dr. Okun has been recently been honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Okun has been published in journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and people travel from around the world to seek his opinion on best treatment approaches for this disease.

Warning: Parkinson's Patients Overdoing Forced Biking Exercise

We have been observing an alarming number of patients presenting to the clinic who have been placed on "forced exercise bike" programs by personal trainers.  Often the trainers are pushing the Parkinson's disease patients to pedal at 90 revolutions per minute or higher.  Parkinson's disease patients should be aware that this disease is not a "one size fits all."  It may be ok for select early Parkinson's disease patients in outstanding physical health to immediately be pedaling this fast, however for many patients this level of intensity could be inappropriate.  Many Parkinson's patients may not be able to achieve this level even with training.  Recent evidence from an exercise trial by Lisa Shulman indicated that the highest levels of intensity may actually not have been the best.

Taking all of the available evidence into consideration, we have been recommending that patients interface with their doctors and start at lower revolutions per minute programs (40-60rpm) and work their way up to a pace that is comfortable and reasonable for their body. 

Forced exercise seems to help some patients in recent studies and I paste a recent abstract below: 

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2011 Oct;39(4):177-86. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e31822cc71a.

It is not about the bike, it is about the pedaling: forced exercise and Parkinson's disease.

Alberts JLLinder SMPenko ALLowe MJPhillips M.


Department of Biomedical Engineering, Center for Neurological Restoration, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland, OH 44195, USA.


Forced exercise has resulted in neuroprotective effects and improved motor function in animal studies. These promising results have not yet been translated fully to humans with Parkinson's disease (PD), as traditional exercise interventions have not yielded global improvements in function. A novel forced exercise intervention is described that has resulted in improved motor function and central nervous system function in PD patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]